Most people are familiar with the popular practice of having your ears pierced, but there are also a variety of other body parts which can take piercings. The practice of body piercing involves puncturing a part of the body to create an opening in which jewelry can be worn. Popular body parts for piercing include the nose, tongue, navel, nipples, lips and even the genitals. An individual considering piercing should make it a point to have all the necessary information regarding proper piercing techniques and care so she can make an informed decision.
Check your school or employee handbook for the dress code policy. Some schools and professional agencies or businesses may not allow visible piercings other than earrings for the female students. Nose, eyebrow or tongue piercings may be prohibited. You will need to know this before you receive a piercing as you just will be wasting your money if your school or job requires you to take it out immediately.
Visit Piercing Establishments
Make it a point to visit several different establishments that offer piercing services to make sure you find one that appears sterile and trustworthy. You can even ask friends who have had piercings for recommendations, and if they feel like they had a good experience.
Also, check with your family doctor as some physicians will do body piercings to ensure their patients are in a clean, sterile environment and get the correct instructions for the care of the piercing.
Research the Risks
Many health risks are involved with piercings caused by using non-sterile needles. These can include hepatitis A, B and C, bacterial infections, staph infections, or even HIV or AIDS. Make sure you ask how the person doing the piercing sterilizes his equipment, or ask to watch the sterilization process.
Research the Required Care
Research the care required for the type of piercing you are considering. Make sure it is something you are willing to follow through with. For example, most ear piercings are healed within six weeks and can be taken care of quite simply by turning the earrings on a daily basis and cleaning the area with a special antiseptic solution usually provided by the person who does the piercing.
Other types of body piercings, however, such as the belly button, require much more attention. Belly button piercing is one of the hardest piercings to heal, and takes the longest time, sometimes up to a year. There are certain activities you can't be a part of right after the piercing process, such as swimming in an ocean, due to the bacteria, or sitting in a hot tub, due to the chemicals. So if you're thinking about getting your navel pierced around summertime that is something to consider. You also will need to wash your belly button piercing two to three times daily with anti-bacterial soap for the first two to three weeks before you can reduce it to once a week for the next couple of months.
If you're not willing to follow the proper care instructions you may want to re-think getting a navel piercing as improper care can lead to some serious infections.
Think it Over
Remember that a piercing is permanent. Even if you leave out the jewelry and let the piercing close up, you can still have a scar, scar tissue, small indentations in the skin or even small lumps where the piercing once was. If you are considering getting a piercing, talk to friends who also have them. Ask if they've ever regretted their decision. Be sure to do all your research on the types of piercings and the different protocols for care. Make sure the piercing is really something you want before just jumping into it.